London: People who regularly experience gastrointestinal symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation and nausea may have a higher prevalence of migraine and tension headaches, shows a study.
The researchers found that migraine and tension headaches may have genetic link with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
“Since headache and irritable bowel syndrome are such common conditions and causes for both are unknown, discovering a possible link that could shed light on shared genetics of the conditions is encouraging,” said study author Derya Uluduz from of Istanbul University in Turkey.
The study will be presented at the American Academy of Neurology’s 68th Annual Meeting in Vancouver, Canada in April.
The researchers examined 107 people with episodic migraine, 53 with tension headache, 107 people with IBS and 53 healthy people.
Migraine and tension headache participants were examined for IBS symptoms and participants with IBS were asked about headaches.
The results showed a total of 54 percent of those with migraine also had IBS, compared to 28 percent of those with tension headache. Of the participants with IBS, 38 also had migraine and 24 also had tension headache.
The finding indicate that people with migraine were twice as likely to also have IBS as people with tension headache.
IBS, migraine and tension headache groups had at least one gene that differed from the genes of the healthy participants, the study found.
“Discovering shared genes may lead to more future treatment strategies for these chronic conditions,” Uluduz added.